Reunion Planning Guide
Form a Planning Team
Choose two to three people to play a leadership role in planning the reunion. Having more than three leaders is difficult to manage, so keep the group small. Select one leader to function as your contact with The Homestead. Be sure to delegate tasks like invitations, food, or games to other family or group members to lighten the load.
Choose a Date
Summer is a traditional time for a reunion, but don't overlook a fabulous fall weekend, spring cherry blossom time, or a ski week between Christmas and New Year's. Once you select a date, stick to it. Three-day weekends give out-of-town relatives time to travel.
Develop a Preliminary Location Plan
Develop a preliminary plan that includes estimated number of people that will attend and their ages, number of hotel rooms or vacation homes and condominiums, gathering places, meals and other group activities. Refine the plan as you gather more information and get family or group input. Make your reservations as early as possible so you won't be disappointed.
Establish a Budget
Put together your best guess at a budget based on your preliminary plan and tweak it as you go. Set up a checking account to manage the funds. Some families and groups do fundraising activities to help defer the costs or to help those who have financial constraints.
Develop a Checklist of Tasks
Brainstorm a list of things that need to get done and then organize them into groupings. Turn the list into a checklist.
Plan a Theme
Choosing a theme for a family or group reunion can be a fun way to promote it to family and group members as well as to generate excitement about the reunion. Use the theme in all communications to ensure a consistent message.
Plan Your Meals
Decide what meals you will have together as a whole group, and those that family members or small groups will have separately. Welcome receptions, a banquet or cookout and farewell breakfast are traditional meals of a reunion. Consider a picnic or box lunch to take on a hike or group excursion.
Send "Save the Date" Announcement and Invitations
Send out "Save the Date" announcements as soon as you have determined a date and location. That way your family or group can mark their calendars early and they will be more likely to attend. Send a more formal and complete invitation two or three months prior to the reunion with specifics about the reunion. "Save the Date" announcement and invitations can be done online for free through an event planning website such as Punchbowl and Pingg. Be sure to include lodging information.
Develop Ongoing Communications
To keep the excitement alive and to get others involved, it is important to communicate with family or group members regularly. Send out monthly email newsletters with updates on the planning process. Set up an online group on Facebook, Google Groups or set up a free website so family or group members can interact throughout the process and share photos or videos after the reunion.